A number of folks have emailed, commented, or mentioned to me personally this: Russia to deploy missiles near NATO border
President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia will deploy missiles in territory near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans.
He did not say whether the short-range Iskander missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.
In his first state of the nation speech, Medvedev also blamed the U.S. for the war in Georgia and the global financial crisis. He said he hoped Barack Obama would act to improve relations with Russia but he did not offer congratulations to the president-elect.
In all honesty, I doubt this is a direct response to Obama’s win last night. They may have been waiting to see who won before deciding on whether or not to announce it in the speech, but the speech was going to happen regardless and the missiles were going to happen regardless.
It’s more than a bit ironic that the Russians have been calling an anti-missile defensive system a “threat” and are now responding to it by deploying offensive weapons to prove that the US is aggressive. This is akin to whining that people shouldn’t wear body armor because it’s a threat to you, and in response to the threat you’re going to start carrying a gun.
The Russians have been trying to shake the rust off of their sabers, and this is just another move in that direction.
Incidentally, this underscores what I wrote earlier about my fear of demands for a sudden “peace dividend.” With Iraq winding down and an incoming president that seems unlikely to open new active fronts in the war, there is bound to be a lot of calls for sweeping military cuts. Things like missile defense are sure to be near the top of the list.